The COVID19 pandemic halted football and other sporting-related activities. UEFA had to reschedule the EURO 2020 tournament to 2021. Organizers decided not to rename the tournament “Euro 2021” even though it will take place this summer.
Many talent-packed teams are going to grace this event. Many pundits and soccer analysts are making predictions about the teams that will come out victorious. Time will tell because football is full of surprises.
As we prepare to get into some hot action, here are some highlights you should know about the EUROs 2020.
Format of the Competition
The competition comprises 24 teams. The 24 national teams are into six groups of four. The first and second-positioned teams from each group will qualify for the next round. The four best third-placed teams will join the qualified 12 teams in the round of 16.
These 16 teams will play against each other before proceeding to the quarterfinals. The two emerging teams after the quarterfinals and semifinals will play against each other in the final. The 24 teams and their respective groups are:
- Group A: Turkey, Wales, Switzerland, Italy
- Group B: Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Russia
- Group C: Netherlands, Ukraine, North Macedonia, Austria
- Group D: England, Scotland, Croatia, Czech Republic
- Group E: Spain, Slovakia, Poland, Sweden
- Group F: Hungary, Portugal, Germany, France
Key Dates and Venues
The EUROs 2020 will take place between June 11 and July 11, 2021. The competition will be held in 11 cities across 11 UEFA countries. The name of the venues is:
- Hampden Park – Glasgow in Scotland
- Puskás Aréna – Budapest in Hungary
- National Arena Bucharest – Bucharest in Romania
- Johan Cruyff Arena – Amsterdam in the Netherlands
- Baku Olympic Stadium – Baku in Azerbaijan
- Wembley Stadium -London in England
- Saint Petersburg Stadium – Saint Petersburg in Russia
- Estadio La Cartuja – Seville in Spain
- Football Arena Munich – Munich in Germany
- Olimpico in Rome – Rome in Italy
- Parken Stadium – Copenhagen in Denmark
Favorites to Win the Competition
England is the surprise favorite to win the trophy after a fourth-place finish in the 2018 FIFA world cup.
This team is at 5/1 to win EURO 2021. They have a talented team that can take them to the final at Wembley. Gareth Southgate can lead them to win a trophy they have not had in decades.
This star-packed team is jointly favorite to win the trophy. They also are at 5/1 odds. N’golo Kante and his teammates won the 2018 FIFA world cup by beating Croatia 3-0.
If they can win the European championship, this will be the second time that they are lifting the EURO trophy and world cup since 2000.
Belgium finished in third place after the 2018 world cup. The Red Devils are the third favorites to win the UEFA EURO 2020. They lost the 1980 EUROS final. With the leadership of Roberto Martinez, they have the chance to seal off their first major trophy. Stars like Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, and Eden Hazard make Belgium lethal enough to face any team.
Spain has big chances in this competition. Their squad comprises solid elite players like Ansu Fati, Isco, Alvaro Morata, and Sergio Ramos. This team won the championship back-to-back in 2008 and 2012. They also have a high chance of qualifying from the group stage because of relatively easy opponents.
Portugal’s squad has suddenly become heavily talented. They are not the same team that struggled to win the tournament in 2016. The likes of Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo, Joao Felix, and Bernardo Silva will light up the tournament. Cristiano Ronaldo is not yet past his prime.
The major problem they will face is that they are in a tough group containing Hungary and Germany. If you want to stake on live soccer events, you can visit the top SA betting sites.
EUROS 2020 Rules for Teams
Each team will name a squad of 26 players. The teams can only place a maximum of 23 players on the match sheet for each game.
Teams can make a maximum of five substitutions in games, with one more during extra time. IFAB authorized the use of five substitutes during the heat of the COVID 19 pandemic to reduce stress on players due to congested matches.
If a set of players in a team test positive for COVID19, the fixture will go ahead if the team has a minimum of 13 available players, including a goalie.
If a squad can’t produce 13 players because of multiple positive COVID19 results, UEFA could shift the fixture within the next 48 hours of the initial date of the match.
The UEFA Control, Ethics, and Disciplinary body will take the necessary steps if a match cannot be rescheduled.
Key Information for Fans
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means that each city will take the necessary decisions to control fans and minimize disease transmission.
Each city determines the number of fans allowed in their stadium. The fans must also follow all COVID-19 safety protocols stated by the city. Prospective fans have to go to the official EURO 2020 website to know what they should do specifically.
For example, Baku stated that all fans have to produce a negative COVID-19 test when arriving in the city. Budapest wants to achieve full stadium capacity. There will be stringent entry requirements for fans. Those traveling to Amsterdam have to obey Holland’s quarantine regulations.
Other cities have provided their maximum allowed capacity as well. You can check this detail on the official EURO website.
Key Facts about EUROS 2020
- This will be the 16th edition of the tournament since its inaugural edition in 1960.
- Portugal is going to defend its title as it won the 2016 competition.
- The UEFA Executive committee has approved the Video Assistant Referee for use for the first time in the competition’s history.
- For the first time, more than two countries will host the tournament.
- The match ball for the tournament will be Uniforia from Adidas. The ball is white coupled with blue, pink, and neon stripes and black strokes.
The EURO 2020 tournament will soon be underway. Underdogs like Poland and Russia could pull up some surprises that we aren’t expecting. Fans are getting set to watch this lit competition. If you want to attend the matches, make sure that you follow COVID-19 protocols. Stay safe!